Long History of
Failed Back Pain Treatment

I'm a 60 year old woman with the spine from hell. I've had 3 back surgeries due to persistent lower back pain, but worse right lower leg numbness and sciatica. All of these symptoms were due to an auto accident in 2003.

I attempted medical treatment for 5 years before starting multiple diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, CT scans, EMG  and 3 MRIs . I've tried multiple medications, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, 6 spinal epidurals and 6 lumbar transforaminal injections. Then I went the surgical route

My surgeries include a laminectomy, spinal fusion at L4-5, and 3 months ago, a L3-S-1 spinal fusion with revision of the previous spinal fusion.

My diagnoses include severe spinal stenosis, nerve compression, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, foraminal stenosis, facet degeneration and a lipomatosis spinal tumor in the sacral area with a unstable slipped vertebrae in upper lumbar area.

My 4th round of physical therapy is now in week 6.

I've had to retire due to my back. I'm totally medically disabled and very depressed. I also see a psychiatrist.

I am still in constant pain with the same right leg numbness going from groin to buttocks.  My constant lower to mid back pain varies daily. I have these awful days, then I will have a fair day.

I'm still not able to do anything strenuous, or for that matter anything easy, like picking up something I dropped, standing greater than 10 minutes, without my leg numbness in my right leg getting worse. I don't go anywhere outside of my home due my back.

I've seen 3 orthopedic surgeons. Currently, I'm seeing a spine specialist at UCI. My next visit, next month, will include getting yet another spinal MRI.

I don't know about others out there, but this is such a daunting task of attempting to heal. There really is nothing more the surgeons can do nor would I want them to do.

- Elaine

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